Developer named for controversial Sunderland land project

Controversial plans to develop open land in Seaburn have taken a step closer.

Saturday, 17th February 2018, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th February 2018, 4:15 pm
Weardale Avenue residents pictured with Coun George Howe, right, who object to the plans.

Miller Homes has been named as the preferred developer for a parcel of land owned by Sunderland University after the site was marketed through a formal tender process.

The firm says it will consult with local people and councillors on its proposals before a planning application is submitted.

Residents in South Bents and Seafields have opposed the plans amid fears the scheme - alongside new homes planned by Siglion - will place too much strain on local infrastructure, as well as meaning the loss of green public space.

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The scheme, which a university statement promised would ‘take into consideration local and planning concerns as well the interests of all parties involved’ would see the creation of a new housing development featuring a range of four and five bedroom homes.

University chief operating officer Steve Knight said: “We have worked with Miller Homes to ensure that their proposed scheme allows public access through the site, following concerns raised within the local community.”

Miller Homes’s Patrick Arkle added: “We are keen to engage with the local community prior to submitting our application and will be holding a public consultation event in the near future to share our plans.”

But a residents’ spokesman condemned the plans: “The land is not suitable for a housing estate,” he said.

“It will mean another loss of green space that was gifted to the University for leisure and recreation purposes by the general public. The university has no right to sell this land off for housing purposes.

“This extra development on top of the already planned 279 residential units that Siglion has planned for the Seaburn site will mean that the area will be massively overdeveloped and virtually all green space taken away.’

“There are serious issues impacting on the area which remain unresolved including flooding and sewerage handling, which is already beyond capacity. Residents have also expressed concerns about traffic flows onto the busy Whitburn Bents Road.”